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 Advice on recent aggression

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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 4:52 pm

Since we have gotten Oakley in February Nala has been acting out, she is good with Oakley they get along well but she has always had this kind of food and toy aggression but when we would try to correct her on this she would snap at us violently. Other than the aggression she is a good dog, we have done everything we can do to try to correct her when she was a puppy up until now but now that she is older if I stand by her when she is eating she will growl at me or if Oakley even looks at her while she eats she growls, she never actually snaps unless I would try and take her food which I would never do because she could do some serious damage. I'm so stuck on what to do because it seem to be getting worse since we got Oakley, Nala is getting fixed in the next month she is getting off of her heat cycle which she started at the beginning of April, but I just do not know what to do to fix this issue its tolerable but I dont want her to one day snap on me or Oakley, she gets possesive over the weirdest things like a piece of paper on the ground or even her own poop! Does anyone have any type of advice on how to correct her on this? Other than this aggression she is a great dog and lovable to everyone.

HELP Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 5:25 pm

Hi Rachel,

Just to put this in some perspective, this sounds like a pretty serious case with many different layers and possibilities. This is generally gonna be the type of case that is next to impossible to address from online advice, as almost anything you would need to do you would be in danger of getting you, your family, or other dog bitten.

Do you have access to some money for some training? This would ideally be a board and train situation and I could get you in touch with a good, balanced trainer.

How have you corrected her so far? What tools or strategies have you used?
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 5:46 pm

She had always listened to "no" and "drop it" but in the last few months that is no way of getting her to drop something she feels she has to have.

I would be willing to do anything.  I'm scared to video tape it and post it because of the negative comments that I could possibly get.  The very last thing I ever want to do is put her down.  She is only 3 and she really isn't a danger to anyone she has never actually bitten anyone, its mostly just growling.  But I just want this problem corrected.  

That would be great to get a nice trainer in hopes that this problem is solved.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 6:00 pm

Rachel ,

No joke you just brought tears to my eyes.  You should pay zero attention  to any negative comments from anyone on here or any dog trainer you encounter.  You are committed to your dogs and open to suggestions on improving their Iives with you.  You should be proud and honored by that devotion and that bravery.  Admitting mistakes or problems is how we strive towards improvement and betterment.  

You should post videos if you'd like to.

Are you open to prong collars and/or e collars?   How does more calmness and peaceful coexistence sound with the addition of good obedience and you as your dog's #1 priority?

If you are open to those then I can try to find someone in your area to talk to and , hopefully,  work with. You are going to need to have a more nuanced conversation with your dogs of Yes and No as well as provide them with more boundaries and structure.   They'll need to spend way more time in command at all times for a while .  Less free time, less impulse, and less arousal.  

How does that sound?


Last edited by seattlesibe on Wed May 06, 2015 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 6:02 pm

I guarantee you this dog does not need to be put down. She's not aggressive, she's just overflowing with anxiety. She can stay in your family with proper training from a balanced trainer, I promise.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 6:07 pm

I'm going to toss my two cents worth in here since I have a dog who was very food possessive / aggressive so from that side I can relate to what you're saying.

I don't know what you've heard about NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free) but it can work wonders with aggression.  Basically it says that the dog gets to do nothing, go nowhere, eat anything unless it's from / with you.  It means that you become the bearer of all things good and if she wants anything then she has to behave.

Since you have two dogs there, I'd also suggest that you an "in house leash".  If she's not behaving, it saves you getting a hand in where it doesn't belong and it also gives you a, literal, handle to bring her away from whatever she's obsessing over at the moment.

I used hand feeding and NILIF with Sasha and I can now reach down and take her food bowl away from her when she's eating (though I don't do that without reason - like adding food ...)

As has been said in some other threads, dogs respond best to love and affection - but like with kids, sometimes it has to be "tough love".  If you want to "A" then I expect you to "B" - If you want food then you have to set and wait until I put it down and tell you that you can have it.  As I broke off hand feeding Sasha (and that's literally me feeding her from my hands, sometimes only a kibble or two at a time)  she'd occasionally break for the food bowl as I was setting it down, it never got set down and she had to go back to waiting patiently.

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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 6:59 pm

So Al,

that's a great idea, but just to be rigorous here in light of Rachel dealing with a potentially dangerous situation, having an anxious, fearful, aggressive dog sit first and realize that food comes from a human, while meeting the criteria for NILIF, does nothing to address the anxiety, fear, or aggression.    Technically speaking, this same dog can sit, be rewarded with food, and then still attack a human or dog after the reward has been granted all while meeting all the criteria for this training system.

I think NILIF stuff is great for puppies and soft, easy going dogs, but there's a lot of tension boiling over with this situation and the danger level is rising, fast.

This type of training looks great on the surface of things and dealing with immediate problems,  but doesn't easily address more fundamental, underlying issues causing the behavior problems.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 7:12 pm

Excuse me Jeff for considering many of your responses recently as all wet.

There was nothing easy going with Sasha and at 4 she's not a puppy ... but I'm finding that I'm biting my tongue to try to be polite than I find this enjoyable .... as I've said before, it's time for a VERY LONG break.

Shalom, y'all!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 7:31 pm

Rachel - my very first thought was someone on here said once "they don't call them bitches for nothin'" and if I understand correctly, she is at the end of a heat?

Can you hand feed her treats/kibble without her growling?

I remember Al having a terrible time with Sasha several months ago and, by his report, it is much, much better now.

Archer used to have a bit of food aggression in the beginning (as well as inhaling his food in one gulp or so it seemed.)

This may help while you figure out whether/how/when/where to get a trainer and what type: Wayne started this with Ami and Archer just because and it seemed to cure Archer of his growling over food. Make them both sit, then give one of them a kibble, then the other. If either one of them lunge or stand up or "budge" (Archer's modus operandi Rolling Eyes ) then withhold the kibble until they are sitting again. Just keep alternating "one for Nala, one for Oakley", keep it low key and friendly. I can now even take a bone out of Archer's mouth if I have to (usually 'cause the little budger snatched Ami's after Ami buried it.)

One thing - I'm guessing that Nala has scared you with her growling (and, why not, there's some big teeth in that mouth!). Sometimes, I think we get in a downward spiral of dog growling, owner retreating and anxious, dog growling etc. (I sometimes get into this trying to groom Ami - my very first reaction is to pull back and stop. It takes a bit for me to just breathe, tell him "oh stop that" and continue without making a big deal out of it. I do know though, it's time to end the session on a good note and shortly after when he's not growling as he's had enough.) That's something a trainer can help you with for sure. And the spay may help (after she's healed - I was pretty growly for a while after my hysterectomy.)

Nope. See no reason to put a dog down over this. Though I certainly understand your worry.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 7:37 pm

Shalom Al!

Hope to see you soon, hopefully when you're more able to handle respectful disagreement.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 7:58 pm

I, sirrah, am quite capable of handling respectful disagreement. What I won't bother with is someone who seemingly has their own agenda (methodology) and doesn't concern themselves with the thoughts and feelings of others. You, sirrah, have become rude and crude and regrettably don't seem to care.

Oh, that's right, you're now a certified trainer and don't need to be concerned with others.

I really should not have bothered ..... now since I've taken this thread way off track, colour me gone!!
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 8:12 pm

Correction: I am not certified in anything and I have never uttered the words "I am a dog trainer" on this forum. Not once. This is not about me. I seek neither validation nor approval. I do have passions and convictions and agendas, absoulutely, and I won't apoligze for those. But I have never disrespected anyone, including you.

Just for the record.

You can PM if you'd like and we can slug it out like men there if you'd like.

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 8:37 pm

Hey guys, a little bit too much testosterone for my taste Sad
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 8:41 pm

i accept that criticism, thank you Amy.

I'll go back to being girly now, which is what I prefer anyways Smile
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 11:11 pm

@seattlesibe wrote:
i accept that criticism, thank you Amy.  

I'll go back to being girly now, which is what I prefer anyways Smile  


Okey Dokey sunny

Back to Rachel...I had a thought while I was working outside and Archer was being...Archer Rolling Eyes He likes to mouth my hands when I have my leather work gloves on. And jump up on me. A loud firm "no" does nothing except make him more playful. Today, I whispered "sit" and talked softly to him. He settled almost immediately. With Ami and the grooming growling - I've found that if I soften my voice as well as my touch, he tolerates it better. When Wayne does the "one for Archer, one for Ami" he tells them to "sit" in a whisper. Somehow it quiets them and really gets them focused on him.

Maybe with Nala, if you are able to hand feed her, talk very softly and lightly pet her (probably not on her head - does she like her ears stroked - Ami is pudding when I do that). If she growls while handfeeding (and, I would not use her bowl to hold the kibble), maybe a gentle, reassuring "shhhhhh..." These are just thoughts - I have not dealt with seriously food aggressive dogs.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Wed May 06, 2015 11:25 pm

@amymeme wrote:


@seattlesibe wrote:
i accept that criticism, thank you Amy.  

I'll go back to being girly now, which is what I prefer anyways Smile  




Okey Dokey sunny

Back to Rachel...I had a thought while I was working outside and Archer was being...Archer Rolling Eyes   He likes to mouth my hands when I have my leather work gloves on.  And jump up on me.  A loud firm "no" does nothing except make him more playful.  Today, I whispered "sit" and talked softly to him.  He settled almost immediately.  With Ami and the grooming growling - I've found that if I soften my voice as well as my touch, he tolerates it better.  When Wayne does the "one for Archer, one for Ami" he tells them to "sit" in a whisper. Somehow it quiets them and really gets them focused on him.  

Maybe with Nala, if you are able to hand feed her, talk very softly and lightly pet her (probably not on her head - does she like her ears stroked - Ami is pudding when I do that).  If she growls while handfeeding (and, I would not use her bowl to hold the kibble), maybe a gentle, reassuring "shhhhhh..."  These are just thoughts - I have not dealt with seriously food aggressive dogs.


Yup, exact same way with Kohdi, I too don't know how it would work with food aggression but it's worth a try.

I'm editing to elaborate a little more. Like Archer is with Amy, "no" usually makes Kohdi more playful...being calm, talking to him softly, he responds to immediately. Kohdi has been, and sometimes still is, a bit like Nala in that the most stupidest of things, he can get very possessive about, like a piece of paper. I could blame it on Mishka, but it was happening before Mishka came along. It only presented itself more after I got Mishka. It never happened with food though. Anyways, I personally don't think it's anything I did that made Kohdi this way, however, I have someone who watches my dogs while I'm at work and there is something that she did that got me thinking it may have been the root to the issue. She would give Kohdi a bone to chew on, and then at random, would take it away so he wouldn't eat the whole thing. In my mind, Kohdi would just be getting into enjoying the bone, and it'd be taken away...May or may not be the root of the problem but I am known for over analyzing things. Anyways, I digress...getting excited, loud tones, etc. only made Kohdi worse, it'd get downright scary sometimes but he never did actually bite. However, speaking calmly, showing Kohdi my attention wasn't on the <insert item of possessiveness here> and petting him, etc would get him to calm wayyyyy down and eventually I could take whatever it was away BUT I would replace it with something else that he can have, a treat, a toy, etc. Calmness goes a long way.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Thu May 07, 2015 12:00 am

I'll add this too, haha, when Kohdi did calm down, I praised him a lot, told him he was a good boy and all that stuff...so with food aggression,  that I'm sure would work .
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Thu May 07, 2015 12:15 pm

When I added Keno to the mix I had some possession issues as well. Keno was very food aggressive from his time fighting for food in an over crowded shelter. He bit my mom's pup over a bowl of water the second day I had him. After so long of not having to compete for food or space or toys Kenzi went into her own guarding habits, even though she wasn't in any need to compete for anything since I had picked up all toys and was feeding with a good distance between them. Keno would growl if I walked behind him while he would eat. I would ignore him and go on about my business as close or as far from him as I liked. After a bit I started talking to him while he ate, still walking around him. Sometimes when I would sit food down I would run my hand down his tail as he was going to the bowl and eventually got to where I was lightly holding the tip of his tail while he was eating and I would talk to him as I always had been leading up to this. It's been a year and I can now give him a full body massage while he eats. I went through the same thing with Kenzi and toys. She never got as bad with food as she was with toys. With her crazy hormones (something I know you have experienced with Nala) she would think of the toys as pups or hers and could guard quite closely. I put all toys away. Toy only came out if I got it out and I would play one on one with the toy and dog going through similar motions as I did with the food. Letting her play, talking to her calmly, touching when I'm giving and eventually just not taking my hand off while she does her thing. I would start getting past her anxiety with you around her. Feed her in a room closed off from all others and just sit in there with her and talk to her. Don't do the baby voice (if you are someone who does that) just talk normal and calm about whatever. Don't praise or reprimand. Get her back to the bond you once had, then you can start working with her on dealing with Oakley. No dogs need to be put down or rehomed, and it's highly likely that you can do this without mortgaging your house on fancy professionals (though a professional is safer for you and potentially faster). You can do this.

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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: Advice on recent aggression   Tue May 12, 2015 11:54 am

@amymeme wrote:


Maybe with Nala, if you are able to hand feed her, talk very softly and lightly pet her (probably not on her head - does she like her ears stroked - Ami is pudding when I do that).  If she growls while handfeeding (and, I would not use her bowl to hold the kibble), maybe a gentle, reassuring "shhhhhh..."These are just thoughts - I have not dealt with seriously food aggressive dogs.

Amy this is a good idea when i feed her tonight i will have to try that! She also loves being pet behind the ears and on her head, and thank you everyone else for the advice, she has just recently started doing this she has never been aggressive towards anyone but Oakley (unless i pet her when she has a bone she starts growling like back off mom) if Oakley even looks at her food she sprints over too it and just sits by it, he has learned to adjust to her but for me I dont want to be afraid to pet her when she has a bone so as of right now we have a no bone rule and i feel bad because Oakley is bored. But yesterday I bought then both a bone gave them both the bone at the same time Oakley ran upstairs with his and Nala became instantly aggressive like i was going to take it away i pet her and say no be nice and then give her the bone. That did not work she instantly went under the table and became possessive. So i took the bone from her until the problem is fixed im keeping bones out of the picture but she doesnt do it with toys anymore unless its a tennis ball, food, or a bone.
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